Draft Day

It’s Draft Day in the Maritime Hockey League.

Championship teams are built on draft day. That’s what makes draft day so special.

Every scout sees it differently. Every scout has their list, who is on that list or off of that list is their business.

I wish I could draft tons of players. I respect so many young players and their passion and love for the game.

I respect the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for the game of hockey. Seeing the good in every player can be challenging at times, but tearing down young players isn’t good for the game or anyone for that matter.

Getting drafted is special.

For those that don’t get selected, that doesn’t mean your path in the game has come to an end. It doesn’t mean scouts or organizations don’t like or value you as a player or person. A lot of factors are in play during draft day. Things can change in a matter minutes. Every executive and scout are trying to do the best they can to build their team in that moment and for the future. Everyone sees things differently. An organization can be targeting the best players available in their draft or on their board and all of sudden a trade happens and they move in or out different assets, it changes everything. One massive take away in all of this is that the opinions scouts have on the players they are targeting to draft never changes in that moment of chaos that the draft can seemingly have.

Every organization values certain players differently, that’s what makes drafting and developing so unique.

There are tons of players on an organizations radar ahead of draft day and each scout within that organization target different players, but when the vetting process is concise, specific and there’s a shared vision, that’s when organizations build or continue to build a culture of winning and competitiveness.

There’s tremendous value in the vetting process. It all comes down to projecting.

We all see it differently, I would love to draft a ton of players, but ultimately that can’t happen. Again that doesn’t mean scouts don’t value those players attributes or didn’t want to draft them. At the end of the day deep down I want to see every player reach their full potential.

Countless players and coaches have used the Maritime Junior A ranks as a springboard to a career within the game. From the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, to the university or college ranks, to professional hockey, to the work force and beyond, the MHL continues to be a staple in this region.

The product and talent within the circuit should speak for itself and it does, but in many ways it’s up to all of us from this region to continue to highlight and promote the league.

Tonight’s draft is an amazing showcase for the game and young players from all across Atlantic Canada.

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of the players in tonight’s MHL Draft, the best of luck. I want you to keep in mind that you are incredibly valued by a lot of organizations and scouts. You have no doubt been on the radar of these organizations for quite some time.

You have probably heard a lot of conflicting viewpoints about the league. Hopefully that perception or misconceptions of the league doesn’t cloud your judgment and excitement. Junior A hockey is a live and well in this region. The caliber of play in the league is truly extraordinary. Don’t believe me, try it. Get yourself in the best shape of your life and attend training camp ready to prove you belong.

For those players that don’t hear or see their names called this tonight . Don’t give up, never give up. Your phones will no doubt be ringing off the hook a short time after the draft with camp invites. Jump at those opportunities, not only to prove scouts and organizations that you belong, but prove it to yourself that you can play at that level and that all the sacrifices, time and effort you have put into your journey so far matter.

It doesn’t matter what round you’re drafted in, it’s all about what happens after the draft that matters most. The adversity you have all faced to get to this point of your path in the game has built resiliency on and off the ice. That resiliency and character will to define you as a player and person moving forward.

Best of luck tonight, See you at the rink,

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